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KG still finding his way 01.31.10 at 5:06 pm ET
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BOSTON — It’s pretty obvious Kevin Garnett is not the same player he was two years ago when he was the NBA Defensive Player of the Year and the centerpiece of Boston’s run to a 17th NBA title.

Surgery to remove bone spurs behind his right knee last summer and a hyperextended right knee suffered late in December has slowed his return to form.

Doc Rivers still believes Garnett can get back to the top defensively ‘€” hopefully taking the Celtics along for the ride. More than that, he still expects it.

‘€œI can [expect Garnett back to form], but not right now,” Rivers said conditionally. “But really, none of our guys who have come back, you can’€™t hold any of them to their normal standards right now. Our biggest issue with our injuries is that they’€™re healthy but they’€™re not ready to play basketball at this level yet.

Paul [Pierce] had his first big game in Atlanta since he’€™s been back. Kevin is still [getting back]. The key is you still have to play them the minutes. The only way they’€™re going to get back is by keeping them on the floor and let them get their minutes. The tough part is while you’€™re doing that, the team struggles a little bit.’€

[Click here to hear Doc Rivers talk about Garnett's return.]

Rivers has maintained all along that the Celtics need Garnett back to form late in the spring ‘€” when the season truly is on the line. In the meantime, they’ll have to live with the inconsistencies.

‘€œI think he can do it,” Rivers said of Garnett returning to form. “The No. 1 thing is getting them back to that level. I just think it’€™s more timing. When you look at Kevin, it’€™s amazing watching him. The Orlando game, his timing was completely off the entire game. Then the Atlanta game, all of sudden he had good timing.

“I just think it’€™s going to be that way for a while. The guy it’€™s most frustrating to is him because he’€™s knows it. The Orlando game at halftime, I thought he was going to beat himself up if he could, because he knew it. He was trying to talk himself into slowing down. I was just telling him, ‘€˜Just play. It is what it is. It’€™s going to happen for you. You just have to keep playing.’€™ ‘€

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
Car & Driver: Garnett cruises through practice 01.24.10 at 6:25 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  No, Doc Rivers didn’t have a 1976 Pinto in his younger years. He had a Buick Skylark.

“I didn’t have a Pinto, that’s for sure,” Rivers said Sunday, two days after Kevin Garnett compared himself to a mid-’70s Pinto. “I didn’t have a back seat in my car, but that’s good. I was driving in front.

“It was burned somehow. Mysteriously, the back seat caught on fire and my dad wouldn’t replace it. So, I had to drive around with a Skylark. It only had the front seat. You could see the trunk through the back seat. No double dates. So, that’s that my car story. It smelled like smoke and that’s the way it was.”

Garnett apparently was on to something when he drew an analogy to an old beat-up mid-’70s economy car to describe his physical condition following Friday’s game ‘€” his first since a hyperextended right knee forced him to the sideline for 10 games.

“Some minor adjustments to it and it’s ready to roll,” Garnett said. “Tires changed, transmission checked and everything is pretty much where it needs to be. But at the same time, it’s still, it’s a ’76 vs. a ’10. That’s what it is.”

That was Garnett’s way of saying he had a little bit of rust but feels ready to get back to action on Monday after scoring 13 points, hauling in two rebounds and dishing out three assists in 30 minutes of action in Friday’s overtime win against Portland.

Read More: Buick Skylark, Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett
Rivers doesn’t plan to limit Garnett’s minutes 01.23.10 at 3:11 pm ET
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WALTHAM — After Kevin Garnett played 30 minutes in his return from a knee injury, Doc Rivers said he will not limit his playing time. Garnett practiced with the Celtics on Saturday and Rivers will continue to keep him on the court.

“Someone asked me before the game if there was a minute restriction, and there wasn’t,” Rivers said. “Again, this was something totally different from last year’s injury. That’s why we were really not concerned about the minutes. Our whole concern with him minute-wise was more conditioning. It had nothing to do with the knee.”

Garnett scored 13 points (4-9 FG, 5-5 FT) and grabbed four rebounds in his first game back on Friday against the Trail Blazers since hyperextending his knee in December.

Read More: Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett,
KG speaks: ‘Old 76 Pinto got banged up’ 01.22.10 at 11:55 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett was in a jovial mood following his first game since Dec. 28.

And for good reason. He just passed the first significant test of his right knee, which was hyperextended during the ill-fated West Coast road trip.

He had 13 points, two rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.

After the Celtics finally found a way to dispatch of the short-handed Trail Blazers, 98-95, in overtime, Garnett spoke about how he felt.

To hear Garnett, who was born in May 1976, compare himself to a ’76 Pinto and talk about how he felt, click here.

Read More: Celtics, Kevin Garnett, NBA,
KG cleared for takeoff at 7:11 pm ET
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Doc Rivers announced before the game that Kevin Garnett will make his return tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 10 games with a hyperextended right knee. The Celtics were 4-6 in his absence.

Listen to Rivers announce KG’s return and explain his approach to using him against Portland.

Read More: Celtics, Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett,
KG named All-Star Starter 01.21.10 at 8:13 pm ET
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Kevin Garnett was voted in by the fans as a starter to the 2010 Eastern Conference All-Star Team, the NBA announced on Thursday night. Garnett received 1,978,116 votes for his 13th All-Star selections. LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Allen Iverson, and Dwyane Wade were also named to the East team. Carmelo Anthony, Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kobe Bryant, and Steve Nash were named starters for the West. The NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, February 14 in Dallas.

Read More: Boston Celtics, Kevin Garnett,
KG on his Celtics: ‘It’s accountability, man’ at 1:33 pm ET
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WALTHAM  —  If Kevin Garnett is indeed cleared to play Friday against Portland by the Celtics‘ medical staff and head coach Doc Rivers, the team might be getting the kick in the pants a lot of observers – including their head coach feel they need.

There’s no reading between the lines necessary when interpreting Garnett’s comments about what’s been missing, especially in a team that has blown double-digit first-half leads on their way to losses to Dallas and Detroit this week.

‘€œSlippage man, some of the hardest games are between 30 and 55 of the season and those are the grind games and at this stage, we have to grind all these out,” Garnett said. “It’€™s a good time for everybody to be coming back and coming back strong.

‘€œIt’€™s accountability, man. I’€™m telling you, our defense is built off grit and effort. You either you can do it or you don’€™t want to do it. The man behind you having your back, that’€™s what it is, nothing more, nothing less than that.’€

[Listen to the Celtics' world according to KG by clicking here]

While not playing, Garnett sees the second-half defensive breakdowns everyone else watching the Celtics has witnessed during their 4-5 month of January so far.

‘€œOur defense is built off of trust,” he said. “It isn’€™t necessarily an assignment but it is a type of defense in which we hold each other accountable. Whatever the defense the calls for, for one person to do his job, the natural reaction is for his teammate to be there to help him and then so on and so on.” Read the rest of this entry »

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